Football clubs look at pre-season in a new light these days. For a few seasons now, pre-season for the European elite, in particular, has not just been about getting into shape for the long, new season ahead. Because, in addition to undergoing a gruelling fitness regime which makes the players physically strong and match-fit, football clubs get to connect with their overseas supporters, build on their existing global fan base and from a business viewpoint, gain more brand exposure. Therefore, pre-season tournaments such as the International Champions Cup (ICC) are perfect, as far as the major football clubs are concerned.
Since July 2013, Relevant Sports-founded ICC has been conducted primarily in the Americas (United States (US), Mexico and Canada), while a few countries in Europe (England, Italy and Spain) and Asia (Australia and China) have also hosted this pre-season tournament. Every region where the International Champions Cup is held, has different sets of participating football clubs playing each other in a league-style competition, with the team finishing first walking away with the winners’ trophy.
The fifth edition of the International Champions Cup, the first edition of which took place in 2013, was played in the United States, China and Singapore, from July 18-30, 2017.